In today’s day and age where increasingly liberal laws are surrounding all things cannabis, it’s no secret (or surprise) that the marijuana market is booming. In addition to 35 out of 50 states now offering some sort of legal access to marijuana, companies like Constellation Brands (owners of the Corona and Modelo beer labels) are making massive multi-billion dollar investments in the industry.
Naturally, this meteoric rise in the marketplace has given rise to thousands of new jobs within the cannabis industry.
As someone who’s potentially interested in landing one of these jobs, however, you’re probably wondering what the best cannabis careers available are – and more importantly, how to land one of them.
In this article, we take a look at the many different sectors the marijuana industry has been influencing, as well as what types of cannabis-specific work the market is currently offering. And of course, we also go over what it takes to potentially land a top gig – in other words, what it takes to nail one of the best cannabis jobs available.
The emerging global marijuana industry is truly one of the most exciting markets to have appeared within the last 100+ years, and we’re here to help you make sure you get your piece of the proverbial pie. Without further ado, here are the top LEGAL marijuana careers for 2020 and beyond!
Best Cannabis Careers | #1 – Budtender
As soon as you walk into a marijuana dispensary – whether it be a recreational or medical one – more often than not you are greeted by a jubilant, friendly, welcoming (and possibly stoned) employee. Known officially within the industry as “budtenders,” these individuals maintain the massive responsibility of having to know, well, pretty much everything there is to know about cannabis.
Budtenders are the people who will (hopefully) be able to recommend the best marijuana strains for your personal tastes, and even for your medical necessities. They act in a lot of ways like a bartender (duh..), recommending various weed types and letting you sample (smell) some of the herb that’s available.
Considering how each and every cannabis strain is a little different (and frankly sometimes there are just too many to keep up with), the role of budtender is actually critically important insofar that it keeps customers and patients from becoming too overwhelmed by the number of choices that are available.
It is the budtender’s job to keep up with all the latest strains in stock – as well as their prices – and relay this ‘reefer rendezvous’ over to you, the customer.
If you already know a lot about various ganja strains, concentrates, edibles, cannabis oils, and their effects, you may be well on your way to becoming a qualified budtender. And believe us – the U.S. industry is going to be jonesing for some top-notch budtenders as the market continues to gather steam in the years to come.
How to get a job as a marijuana budtender
Realistically, the ability to land a decent budtender job at a reputable dispensary will probably depend on the connections you have in the industry. In other words, who you know.
It sounds unfair, but the simple fact of the matter is that cannabis is a very new marketplace, and there are simply no established “prerequisites” for securing a career in the industry. There are numerous schools and online marijuana certification programs that are designed to beef up your resume, but these are very expensive, and may or may not help to actually increase your chances of getting a job.
Your best bet is to visit some dispensaries in-person, talk to managers, and basically just show everyone that you know your stuff when it comes to marijuana.
Also, there are fantastic free and open networking collective (420 business collectives) in many major urban areas throughout the U.S., so it would definitely be advised to hit some of these up in an effort to start making quality industry connections.
Best Cannabis Careers | #2 – Marijuana Researcher
Do you have an advanced degree with a medical, chemistry, or scientific background? Are you fascinated by the effects of marijuana and how this plant is going to revolutionize our future – especially in the medical industry? The global population is going to be in dire need of quality cannabis-related research in the years (and decades) to come, and conducting marijuana-based studies may be just the position for you.
In fact, plenty of big pharmaceutical companies now are looking into conducting cannabis-based clinical trials to develop new drugs (in particular prescription CBD medications), and with the proper credentials, you can be a part of this fascinating new field.
Companies that are revolutionizing the medical marijuana industry (such as GW Pharmaceuticals) are developing potent medications using the healing powers of cannabis, and will be on the prowl for top-notch scientists as they look to expand on their product range.
Not saying that this company would be the right fit for just anyone with a Bachelor’s degree in science, but many other marijuana-oriented science research labs are currently in operation, and as countrywide legalization in the United States becomes even greater, it likely won’t be that hard to find a willing candidate. If you have a scientific background and a real passion for marijuana as medicine, consider an occupation with one of these cutting-edge companies.
How to get a job as a marijuana researcher
Truth be told, if you’re looking to get into cannabis research you will need at the bare minimum a Master’s degree from a reputable university in one of the natural sciences. Researchers at dozens of universities are now conducting high-quality studies on cannabis, so if you’re currently a student and are interested in this field, it would be wise to start getting in touch with scientists who share similar interests as you.
It’s certainly not easy getting into a research-oriented doctorate program, but given the way things are shaping up for the marijuana industry, it almost certainly would be worth the effort.
Related Article: Growing 1 Marijuana Plant (Just for Fun)
Best Cannabis Careers | #3 – Marijuana Journalism
If you love to write, then this profession is for you. Although granted, some of the biggest journalism names in the industry have actually taken a surprising hit in recent years, despite the absurd levels of popularity concerning all things marijuana.
Pretty much all relevant media outlets will be looking for folks with the knowledge and proper background to write buzzy cannabis-related content; topics that captivate your readers and fascinate the weed-curious masses.
A lot of companies in the U.S. will be hiring prolific writers that are ready to share ganja-related articles and information with the rest of the world.
Show them your writing skills – and your major knowledge of reefer – by creating an informative article that wows and educates the world about medical marijuana and its powerful benefits.
Continue below and find out if you qualify for this NEW job!
How to get a job as a marijuana journalist
For this job, you would basically have to check off two major checklists: 1) have a journalism degree from a reputable U.S. or international university, and 2) know a boatload of stuff about marijuana. A good portfolio is a crucial thing to have for any aspiring journalist, so do anything and everything you can to build up examples of cannabis-related content that you’ve had published. Contact dozens of companies and offer to contribute articles for free, start your own website/blog — whatever it takes to build the portfolio you need!
Best Cannabis Careers | #4 – Grow Room Operator
In legal cannabis states such as Oregon or Colorado, collectives exist that are legally growing marijuana to sell to recreational and medical dispensaries. If you have an ability to grow amazing pot – and have a decent amount of experience with these situations – these collectives may very well be interested in hiring you to run their operations, and/or legally assist with all aspects of cannabis cultivation and development.
And of course, if you don’t have a ton of experience growing pot, many of these commercial grow operations will be looking for entry-level jobs, which would be a great opportunity to get your foot in the door without having any prior knowledge in the field.
How to get a job at a marijuana grow operation
When it comes to landing one of the best cannabis careers at a commercial grow operation, it will all come down to experience. If you can prove that you have several years’ experience planting, rooting clones, cultivating, harvesting, drying, and curing marijuana, then no doubt your skills will be in “high” demand in the years to come (sorry couldn’t help ourselves there).
But even if you lack the experience, don’t be afraid to pursue an entry level job at a big commercial cannabis operation like Tilray or Canopy Growth.
These firms will likely be dominating the global cannabis marketplace in the years to come, and if you get your foot in the door early, who knows where the opportunity might take you. In fact, the cannabis industry just may be one of the last truly lucrative markets where you can build a career from the ground up, without having to go tens of thousands of dollars in debt to earn a college degree.
The Best Cannabis Careers: Final Thoughts
Are you inspired yet to nail one of the best cannabis careers that you possibly can? If you love pot and want to make a living off of it, then be sure to get started early and do what you can to get your foot in the door – in a legal way!
The possibilities are truly endless when it comes to this booming industry – an industry that has left the world fascinated and in awe over the past two-plus decades. It is important, however, to remember that although benefits exist for marijuana usage and cultivation, there are still some issues with legality at both the state and federal levels.
Always act in accordance with the law, and when doing your own research on the best marijuana careers, make sure to proceed with a level of responsibility and professionalism – it will be much appreciated in the long run.